The job action by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation will end at 4:00 p.m. today, as the STF has agreed to participate in binding arbitration on the issues of wages and class size and complexity. The announcement was made at 1:30 p.m. this afternoon. In addition to the end of job action, no further sanctions will be taking place. 

"While it has been over a year now since we held our first provincial bargaining meetings from this round, and throughout the process, teachers have remained firm that classroom complexity must be addressed within this round of provincial collective bargaining,” said Samantha Becotte, the President of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation.  

The provincial government had initiatlly refused binding arbitration in March when it was first proposed by the STF. After teachers rejected a tentative agreement reached between the government and STF bargaining committees, the government then proposed binding arbitration, but without the inclusion of class size and complexity.  

“The joint submission with the GTBC (Government Trustee Bargaining Committee) for binding arbitration provides an opportunity for progress on the issue of classroom complexity in order to address the needs of Saskatchewan students,” said STF president Samantha Becotte. 

A provincewide work-to-rule campaign started on Monday of this week. An e-mail leaked to the media earlier this week stated the government was willing to take the issue of class size and complexity to the arbitrator, along with wages. Shortly afterwards, teachers held an online town hall with more than 5,700 members taking part. With roughly three-quarters of members agreeing arbitration would be the best path forward, the STF made the announcement today that sanctions would end.  

The only two issues that will be before the arbitrator will be the wages and the class size and complexity. All the other issues addressed in the new collective agreement were agreed on previously and will be added to the determinations of the arbitrator in the final agreement.  

The next step in the process will be the selection of an arbitrator. Both sides will have the chance to present their submissions and answer any questions about them. There is no timeline for the ruling. The final decision of the arbitrator will be binding on both parties.